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Manhattan senior Daniel Harkin (right) fist bumps with second-place finisher Quenton Walion at the Class 6A state meet in Augusta last October. Harkin won the event with a time of 16:17:2. He’s also the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year in cross country for the second straight year.

For the second straight season, Manhattan’s Dan Harkin is the Gatorade Boys Cross Country Player of the Year.

Harkin won the award for his achievement in three categories: athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character.

Harkin won his second straight KSHSAA 6A state title last season. He finished the championship race in 16:17.20, 18.8 seconds ahead of the field. He also won his third straight Centennial League title.

“Daniel is a fierce competitor,” said Matt Swedlund, who coaches cross country at Washburn Rural. “From the time he arrived on the scene, he made it known that he would be a force to be reckoned with. Daniel put up fast times all year, but he was always particularly dangerous in championship races, where he consistently found his way to the top of the podium. He’s had an outstanding high school career.”

Academically, Harkin maintains a 4.15 grade point average. He’s signed a national letter of Intent to run on scholarship at Kansas Wesleyan University this fall.

Harkin has also won a state title in track – he claimed gold in the 3,200 meters in 2019 — and he’s gunning for one in tennis this spring. Harkin finished third at the Class 6A tourney in 2019.